Coming out from the slump

Last week was rubbish, I’m not going to lie. After my fabulous weekend in Wales I came back to reality with a bit of a bump.

I decided to not go to the gym at all during the week to see if that helped my leg. By Thursday (a week since my last gym visit) I was going a bit stir crazy and my knee felt no better so I decided to go to the gym on Friday morning. But I arrived demotivated and feeling crap. I did some deadlifts and half-hearted core work before deciding I couldn’t be bothered. I left in a foul mood.

My dad picked me up to go to work that morning and he asked how I was… and I just burst into tears. Pathetic, I know. I just felt so down about not being able to run and the pointlessness of going to the gym to do injury prevention strength work when I’m injured. I felt so direction-less. OK I don’t need to worry about the Boston marathon (YET) but it’d be nice to just be enjoying my running without pressures or training plans and using the gym as a supplement to my training.

My dad, bless him, went through the problem with me step by step. Can I run? No. When can I run? I don’t know. Is it in the next few days? No. OK then forget about running. What’s the point in every day wondering and worrying about running if it’s clear my injury isn’t going to magically heal over night? My initial estimate of six weeks is proving to be correct, even perhaps optimistic now. For my mental sanity worrying about running isn’t going to help. I need to do exactly what I did last year and focus on something completely different.

On Saturday morning I still went to parkrun and I still felt a bit down.

Netley Abbey parkrun

It’s depressing everyone asking how the injury is…and the look of pity of fellow runners when you say “yep, four weeks and counting of no running”. But I enjoy seeing everyone and the social side of parkrun so I’ll continue to go and volunteer (trying my hardest to not be the bitter grumpy injured runner).

Hunter wellies

Alfie, as usual, loved racing around and got himself thoroughly wet and muddy. After closing down parkrun, a few of us went for a hot drink in the cafe. As I had Alfie I couldn’t go in to the cafe but Mike said he’d get me my drink, which is usually a peppermint tea. Bless him, he came out with a green tea… I’ve had green tea quite a few times and every time it’s made me feel really nauseous, despite really wishing I could drink it. But never look a gift horse in the mouth I thought I’d give it another go. It tasted nice… though I did feel queasy driving home, but not as bad as usual so this is progress!

I had a Halloween party that evening but I was in such a bad mood, being all grumpy and just wanting to slob out, I decided to not go. I did feel bad but the last thing I wanted to do was dress up and try and be sociable. You know when you just want to hibernate away and watch rubbish TV? Well that was me Saturday night.

It was the best thing I could have done because I watched, and was seriously inspired by, some YouTube videos of health and fitness vloggers (I’ve never really got into YouTube but now I’m hooked, it’s like reading blogs for the lazy!) and decided to pull myself together and get my pathetic grumpy bum to the gym the next morning and get a new focus.

Gym selfie

I planned out a heavy leg routine and just went for it:

Legs day

(No judgements on the weights please, this was hard for me)

I literally spent an hour and 45 minutes in the gym just going through these leg exercises, taking the adequate break between sets and monitoring my knee carefully. The ironic thing is, my knee doesn’t bother me in squatting or deadlifting at all so I could do all this without any pain.

Cable machine

I also got one of the fitness instructors to show me how to use a machine (the leg press). He was very helpful and I didn’t feel like just a “stupid girl” for asking – better to have proper form and complete exercises the way you should than be too embarrassed and injure yourself. Plus, this is what they’re paid for! You don’t need to pay a personal trainer to explain how to use a machine/perform an exercise.

I came out of the gym pumped and in such a better mood. I know I’m a broken record and I’m sorry about that but it is hard when you love something so much and suddenly you can’t do it. But I thoroughly enjoyed the gym and now I’m just going to continue strengthening my body, not just for running but in general and for my mental sanity. I enjoy lifting weights. It’s not running, but it’s the next best thing right now. I detest cardio machines and think the best way for me to spend my non-running time will be doing something I love, not desperately slogging away on a machine in the hope that my fitness won’t decline (that ship has sailed anyway). Plus one of my gym days is going to include some strength-based cardio, like my own version of Body Pump, where I’ll use high reps and low weights to get my heart rate going but keeping things interesting. The other days will be focused on my legs & glutes, shoulders & arms and back & chest. Though I’m just seeing how it goes and what I fancy doing right now.

Basically I’m feeling more happy about things. I hope I haven’t droned on too much about not running… Onwards and upwards to a more positive place!

How was your weekend? Any Halloween events?

When you go to the gym, what do you focus on? Cardio or weights?

Do you watch Vlogs? Any recommendations?

19 Replies to “Coming out from the slump”

  1. Im sorry to hear about the injury and the bummed mood – but heck YES for getting your lift on in the gym!! Nothing make me feel more badass than a good lifting session. I hope you loved it enough to do it again! I know it’ll never be what running is to you – but lifting is so good for the body! Hang in there pretty lady!
    Kat recently posted…Monthly Favorites [October]My Profile

  2. I’m sorry you’re still having a hard time with this injury 🙁 I can absolutely understand feeling like that though, and it’s not pathetic in the slightest. I think for short periods of time it’s fairly easy to stay motivated about other forms of exercise besides running, but the longer things drag on the more tiresome and onerous said workouts become simply by virtue of the fact that they’re not running. Even classes I enjoy when I can run I start to resent when I can’t!

    I don’t really go for cardio or weights in the gym! I prefer classes where there’s music and structure so that people can’t just randomly come up and talk to me. I feel so open and exposed in the gym. I used to like using the elliptical at my old gym (really old – I’m talking 2009!) but the equipment at my current one isn’t great. I traded longer opening hours and more classes for decent equipment.

    I love YouTube. I mainly watch gaming channels and HCLF vegan ones though, so I think we have different preferences 😉 I find it more authentic than blogging in general, and I can see how it can be motivating too.
    Jess recently posted…Super Yogi?My Profile

  3. Ah your Dad knows just what to say to help 🙂
    I am not a fan of Halloween- I think it is so American and really taking over Guy Fawkes- our local fireworks were last Saturday, when actually next weekend is closer to the 5th. Plus the shops just see it as a way to shift more and more tat. At our parkrun some people did dress up, but I didn’t. Although I saw some good pumpkin costumes.
    I feel your pain over the green tea too- it doesn’t make me feel sick but I just don’t find it nice, and don’t see the point in trying to like it as it still contains caffeine.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Iceland? More like Snowland! (Part 1)My Profile

  4. My lazy blog reading is Radio 4 (I’m getting old, evidently)…

    We didn’t really Halloween at all. Mum wasn’t well, so I spent all Halloween at my parents, or on a train. It was quite amusing seeing all the costumes going past.
    Jane recently posted…It’s chillyMy Profile

  5. Glad you’re feeling a bit more positive after the weekend! I’m such a novice when it comes to weights – I think I need to get someone to show me what to do…I’ve definitely been making the most of my gym membership now the weather isn’t so great. I do spin, pilates, yoga and have just started barre which seems fun! x
    LilyLipstick recently posted…Winter WishlistMy Profile

    1. Believe me, I was a right novice when I went to the gym. Terrified of everyone thinking I was an idiot. But now I’m far more confident, plan what I want to do beforehand and just go and do it. No one is watching as they’re all too interested in what they’re doing!
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Rants and Raves #23My Profile

  6. Dads rock. It’s just a natural skill. Glad you’re feeling better though!

    I love that YouTube is for lazy blog reading! I like all sorts, from silly animal videos to beauty vloggers (skill envy) and generally lots of things in between.

    No Halloween-ness here. We didn’t even get trick or treaters which was a bit disappointing.
    Steph recently posted…My stress management planMy Profile

  7. I totally get the not-wanting-to-go-out feeling. Every so often I really can’t bring myself to go through with plans I made much earlier and it’s quite refreshing ‘freeing up’ your diary and taking some time out at home.
    I watch quite a few vlogs, although I find that I tend to watch more general lifestyle vlogs than fitness focused ones. They tend to be something nice and easy that I can put on in the background whilst I make tea in the evenings after work. Let me know if you find any good fitness ones though! 🙂
    Mary recently posted…A soggy tourist!My Profile

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